Migrant Landbird Study Group

Promoting collaborative research for migratory landbirds across flyways

Acting Chair

Carles manages the RSPB International Migrants Programme, made of the ‘Birds without Borders’ programme, focusing on 11 UK-breeding priority landbird species, and the East Atlantic Flyway Initiative of BirdLife International. His work seeks to bring together targeted research, capacity building, policy and conservation on-the-ground to address the threats to migratory birds and revert population declines. He is an experienced conservationist, having previously worked on seabird mortality, site-based conservation and invasive alien species. He holds a PhD on bird population dynamics in the wintering areas; much of his research is based on the use of ringing data and capture-mark-recapture analytical methods.


After finishing a PhD on migratory connectivity patterns and carry­over effects in North American shorebirds, Sam migrated from Canada to the UK where she now works as a research ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology. Her interests explore how our changing environment is influencing avian populations, particularly long ­distance migrants. Her projects include satellite ­tracking migrants and investigating the ways in which climate change is influencing the demographic processes driving population change. She is a ringer and enjoys nest­ monitoring during the breeding season, and continues to satisfy her love of waders working with the Wash Wader Ringing Group.


Wouter is currently based as a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam where he investigates how weather shapes the migration of European Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus) from thermal to flyway. Wouter started in migrant landbird conservation at the Batumi Raptor Count, where he focused mainly on coordination and development of educational tools and projects involving dozens of volunteers, regional students and hundreds of school children. He continues to coordinate migration research in conjunction with capacity­building activities in Batumi, and dreams about heading south with the birds into Africa. Through the MLSG, Wouter wants to help facilitate collaborative research that will benefit birds and people across the flyways.


Rien has done his PhD at the Swiss Ornithological Institute on migration strategies of Hoopoes and Wrynecks to investigate effects of breeding on migration and vice versa within the annual cycle. Besides his professional affiliation with birds and bird migration in particular, also for pleasure he loves to be out in the field, watching birds to enjoy their presence and wonder about their whereabouts on migration and during winter times in Europe. For the MLSG he is in charge of the money and tries to keep the website up to date.

Communications Officer

Lykke is a PhD student at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen investigating spatio­temporal patterns of songbird migration within and across migration systems. Lykke and Dayo manage MLSG communications, which includes the social media (Facebook and Twitter) as well as the design and production of outreach materials.

Communications Officer

Dayo holds a postdoc position at the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, studying movement patterns of intra­continental migratory landbirds in sub­Saharan Africa. Lykke and Dayo manage MLSG communications, which includes the MLSG's social media presence (Facebook and Twitter) as well as the design and production of outreach materials.

Event Manager

Mathilde is enrolled at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen where she is doing a PhD on bird migration and conservation of migrants with a focus on passerines wintering in Sub Saharan Africa. She is investigating the effect of global as well as local changes on the survival and habitat quality of Afro-Palearctic migrants. Mathilde arranges conferences and meetings for the MLSG.

Conservation Officer

Daniëlle works as a conservation officer at Vogelbescherming Nederland VBN - BirdLife in The Netherlands. She started mid 2015 and is involved in the international programme, on BirdLife partner support, projects in Western Africa and the BirdLife Flyways programme for the East-Atlantic Flyway. Much of this work focuses on understanding habitat use and restoring habitats of landbirds in the wintering areas, in combination with strengthening rural livelihoods and influencing land use in sub-Saharan Africa. Before starting at BirdLife, Daniëlle has worked in campaigning and research organisations on illegal logging, combating deforestation, responsible forest management and certification. Daniëlle's role in the Executive Committee is to represent the conservation interests in the agenda and activities of the MLSG.

Newsletter Editor

Will is Professor of Biology at St Andrews University and has been studying migrants in Africa since 1994. Key interests are determining the factors determining the density, distribution and migratory connectivity of Palearctic migrants in West Africa and particularly how they survive in anthropogenic and degraded habitats. Key species to date have been common whitethroats, whinchats and Cyprus wheatears. Will is heavily involved in capacity building for conservation in West Africa, managing and teaching at the AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute in Nigeria since 2001. Will has been an Editor for Ibis, Bird Study, Behavioural Ecology & Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.